Hear I stand
Arms open wide
I held you close
Kept you safe
'Til you could fly - Michael W. Smith
I miss him so much.
This picture is amazing, but the story behind it is even more incredible.
A complete stranger, named Stacy Sellers, offered to take our pictures when she found out through a friend that Grey was sick. At the time we did not yet know Grey was terminal, just sick. We were expecting a call from his neurologist the day before the shoot was scheduled . I must have called Bill 10 times that day to check in. He kept telling me the doctor hadn't called yet. Eventually Bill stopped answering the phone and I was convinced that he had fallen asleep since he had worked the night before. When I got home, Bill said he had fallen asleep. He had missed the doctor's call, tried to call him back, but was told he had left for the holiday. I was FURIOUS! We had been waiting for a diagnosis, had missed it, and would have to wait until after the Thanksgiving holiday for some answers.
I stewed all night, but by morning was excited about getting our pictures taken. The talent of Stacy was incredible. The boys' behavior, exceptional. We were all even having good hair days, and we matched. Grey warmed up to the camera right away. It was an amazing day, until that afternoon.
Bill's phone rang. As I picked it up to toss it to him I noticed that it was his neurologist. Bill took the call but walked out of the room to talk, not noticing that I knew who it was. As he finished the call and returned back into the room, I asked him who it was. He said it wasn't important, just work. I told him that I saw it was the doctor and he said they just needed to set up a final test. I pried, concerned as to why he wasn't wanting me to know it was the doctor in the first place.
I watched as tears streamed down his face. He had received the call from his neurologist yesterday, confirming a terminal leukodystrophy. The call on this day was to set up a final appointment. Grey was terminal, and Bill had known for the last 24 hours.
Bill knew that if I knew, I would have never been able to take those photos. And I wouldn't have. But Bill smiled through all those pictures. He gave Grey kisses. He undressed him as Stacy put wings on his back to pose him as an angel. And now I know where Grey got his strength . . . from his daddy.
To Bill and Stacy - You have given me so much more than pictures. Even in his absence, you have given me Grey.